Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has clarified comments he made after the 1-0 loss to Burnley in February in which he claimed he could suddenly depart the club.
Spurs face the Clarets in the return fixture on Sunday with a chance to move back into the top four for a day at least with rivals Arsenal not in action until Monday night.
After Tottenham’s previous meeting with Burnley, Conte claimed he may not have been able to ‘continue this way’ and implied he could leave after only a few months in charge.
The Italian was asked to clarify these comments following Spurs’ 3-0 win over Arsenal on Thursday and admitted he was trying to ‘change the situation’ with his outburst.
“I think honestly there are moments that if you want to change the situation, address the situation in the way you’re used to addressing, sometimes you have to go strong,” Conte said.
“I understand very well that I took a risk because a lot of people didn’t understand. I read that it only took two months for Tottenham to make Conte crazy! I remember very well [that] I was the crazy [one].
“Sometimes coaches have a strategy and the strategy is the stick or the carrot. At the time, all the environment needed the stick. Myself was the first person because I hit myself. And then the others. Because before saying something wrong about the players or the situation, the first to take the blame has to [be] the manager. The manager has to address the situation.”
He continued: “At the time, I thought it was right to go strong to try to change the situation. At the time, in my opinion no-one could think with two games to go, Tottenham could fight for the Champions League. Instead now, we are there and from that step we improved a lot.
“Also, there are moments when everyone has to take responsibility. The manager is the first, then the players, the club and all the employees of Tottenham. Because we win and we lose together.”